From the 1885 History of Steuben County, Indiana

pages 572-573



John Wesley Noyes, one of the early settlers of Steuben County, was born in Grafton County, N. H., June 14, 1802, a son of James and Rebecca (Russell) Noyes, natives of Massachusetts, where they were married and subsequently moved to Newbury, Vt., and later to Grafton County, N. H.  In 1811 they moved to New York, and in 1833 to Kalamazoo County, Mich., where Mr. Noyes bought land and engaged in farming until his death, which occurred two years later, in 1835.  The mother died at the home of our subject in 1850.  They were members of the Methodist Episcopal church, the father being in his early life a minister in that denomination.  They were the parents of twelve children, but six of whom are living -- John W., Eunice, Mary, wife of Clark Briggs, of Nebraska; Eliza; Philip Rowe, of Mills County, Iowa; and Chauncey, of Dakota.  James, Elizabeth, George, Rebecca, Dan and David are deceased.  George was the first white man who died in Ann Arbor, and his wife was the first white woman who lived there.  John W. Noyes received a common-school education, attending school in the winter and working on a farm in summer.  In 1834 he moved to Michigan and settled near Saline, and the next year went to Kalamazoo County to take charge of his father's estate.  In 1846 he came to Fremont and engaged in the mercantile business with ---Beall.  Two years later he bought the American Hotel and for eight years was engaged in the hotel business, keeping a good house and doing a lucrative business.  He then bought the farm where he now lives, located inside the corporation of Fremont.  He owns a large amount of property in Fremont and is one of the wealthiest and most influential men of the place.  The store of Noyes & Beall was the first in Fremont, at that time known as Willow Prairie.  Mr. Noyes was married in 1827 to Dolly Rowe, a native of New York City, born in 1810.  To them have been born eleven children, eight of whom are living.  In politics Mr. Noyes was originally an old-line Whig, but since its organization has affiliated with the Republican party.  He and his wife are members and earnest and liberal supporters of the Methodist Episcopal church.  Mr. Noyes is a public-spirited, whole-souled, upright, enterprising citizen.  His interests have been with the advancement of the county since his first settlement, and he has always assisted every enterprise of public benefit liberally, both with time and money.  He has been the poor man's friend, none worthy ever being repulsed if they went to him for aid.



Submitted by Kim Davoli